Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014 Transfers Came and I Get to Stay!

us and Hermano Isaias Gutierrez... he's awesome!

our district

!!!!!FELIZ DIA DE PAVO!!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
I feel like this week has been a blur, lots of stuff going on!
Transfers are today and Sister Pierce and I are both staying in Austin!! Woohoo! I'm super happy about that (: We will get to spend all of the holiday season here which is just perfect, there are so many teaching opportunities during the holiday season! (And the work here is going really great) We're so excited for all of our investigators right now!

This month is a great month to remember what great good we have in our lives, because there is much.

I have learned that gratitude brings much joy, and where there is a spirit of gratitude, sadness cannot abide. 

Our mission President asked us to write down things that we are grateful for this month, these are some of them I would like to express to you in which I am VERY grateful for:

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission, that's one thing I will always be grateful for because it has given me an understanding of true happiness. And the beginning of a life filled with service.

I'm grateful for Heavenly Fathers plan of happiness, and in that it brings so much joy and hope.

I'm grateful for my family that has been such a great example and support to me. I'm grateful that they are funny and make me laugh (: I'm grateful that we have a good relationship. I'm grateful that we love each other.

I'm grateful for good friends who have given me understanding and experiences that make me a better person and a better friend.

I'm grateful for the country in which we live, there are so many blessings that come from being somewhere free.

I'm grateful for boots and coats because it's freezing in Minnesota.
I'm grateful for the scriptures because of what it teaches me and others.
I'm grateful for repentance and the opportunity to progress and become better.
I'm grateful for the Holy Ghost that brings comfort, and knowledge, and truth.
I'm grateful for the trials I have in life because they let me know I can overcome what I think is the impossible.

I'm grateful for Jesus Christ, who is my brother.

I am so grateful for all of those who come into my life, because there is so much to learn from one another.

I'm grateful for the pilgrims who sailed across the ocean so that we can be here today.


 Revelation 7:12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving,and honour, and power, and might, be‍ unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Love you all! Have a great-ful week!!!
Love Hermana Ficklin

And save some pie for me! (: gobble gobble!

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014 More Awesome Multicultural Experiences!

baking Micronesian bread

the Sudanese wedding

notice the henna? all the bridesmaids had them to

it was a mix between a Lutheran wedding and an African party

the church was beautiful-
notice the organist- he was really good at playing

Hormel mansion

creepy german mannequin in the shower haha

megan (:

white handbook rule: companions should sleep in the same room, but not on the same bed.

 decorating the apt.

look what we found!


  a Christmas present from sister anderson


It is a lovely 10 degrees in MinneSnowta! It's so pretty here right now! And cold!
This week has been so much fun! We helped one of our members from Micronesia make tons of bread for a family reunion, we got invited to attend a Sudanese wedding, whom we didn't know the bride or the groom haha, we had a Christmas dinner party at one of our less actives house which in and of itself was a miracle!! She hasn't decorated for Christmas since 2009. And we also went on a tour of the Hormel Mansion with Megan.

So needless to say it's been an interesting, adventure filled week, aside from teaching gospel lessons!

But! speaking of Gospel lessons, we saw soooo many awesome miracles this week!

So we are teaching one of the Doctors from Mayo clinic who is just amazing! And the most polite man I think I've ever met. He is a great example to me of fighting for truth. He asks the questions of the soul, and last time he explained to us that his brother has cancer and he's been spending some time pondering about why do bad things happen to good people. He struggles with having faith in Jesus Christ and that is one of his doubting questions he's had. Such a good, and important question to have. We are going to talk about it with him tonight, and we are having one of our members come with us who work at Mayo as well (: We are so excited for him!

If any of you have ever had this question before, there is an answer. My thoughts are this:

Trials are a part of Mortality and agency, they are to make us experience good and evil for ourselves, and having a trial of our faith, we can ask ourselves if we will we trust in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The book of Job in the old testament has some amazing chapters on trials.

We also had a lesson with one of our long time investigators who is faced with many trials having to do with divorce, and losing his job, as well as the challenge of learning English and he's been extremely weighed down by all this the last few weeks and we feared he was at the end of his rope. Let me tell you that I am so grateful for our members. We took one of our members with us, not knowing what the lesson would bring, and she talked with our investigator about trials. The message she shared was one of hope, that we are good enough, even though Satan tries to break us down when we are low.

Sister Peterson has had a lot of trials in her life and she is one of my greatest examples of strength and hope, as well as how things turn out good when we strive to do what is right. She's amazing, and I watched first hand how the spirit spoke to our investigator who moments before looked like he was in utter despair change his outlook on life to one of a light behind his eyes wondering if what she told him was true. I saw that God uses us as instruments in his hands for many different purposes and our trials we face may one day be the testimony that others need to hear to give them hope to get through theirs.

We also have been teaching two Hispanic families who have the cutest kids ever! They are all mothers who want their children to grow in the gospel and learn more about God. We've been doing Family home evenings with the families and they love it so much!!! You know what I'm grateful for? Having FHE's with my family.

There's so much benefit from doing family home evening. Not only does it teach you about God, but it is strengthening your bonds with everyone around you. You are building the kingdom of God in your own home, you are turning your children into the stripling warriors. It's so cool! And you wouldn't even think you were doing such a marvelous work by simply being together learning about simple gospel principles, acting out charades, and eating cookies.

I absolutely love this work and I'm so grateful for my mission, I'm grateful for freezing Minnesota weather, it helps us to get into homes quicker. I'm grateful for my family and the support and example they are to me. I love my Heavenly Father and I love my brother Jesus Christ who through all things are possible. I love the world we live in and I love the fact that we, all individual persons, can make a difference in the lives of others for generations to come!

Love you all! Keep warm!

Love Hermana Ficklin

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10 2014 Austin - and Learning about Opposition

went to the nature center last p day (:

I imagine it would  have been prettier in the fall... haha it was still cool though

 wildlife in the nature center (:

a house on stilts in Rochester

we were rolling in the leaves to squish them down a bit so they would fit in the bags better (;

Good day!

    Hellooooo! How is everyone today?? This week has been SO GOOD.

We had some fall fun raking leaves for one of our members, and had the Wentworth kids come and help to and that was fun (:

We also went to the nature center on P-day and we saw Bambi and his girlfriend, it was pretty magical. We ended up venturing further into the woods and came upon a mansion... It ended up being the Hormel mansion and it's now been turned into housing for troubled teens we found out haha.

it was kinda fun watching the expressions of the workers there when we walked in and told them we came from the woods and didn't know where we were... hahaha they laughed and gave us directions back to our car. They thought it was pretty funny.

This week has just been a fun, miracle-filled week. We came back in contact with an investigator who was very interested in the gospel, but because of pressing opposition decided that he could not meet anymore. Sister Pierce had told me of him and was very sad that this had happened, because she saw that he truly did want to learn.

But! we went to his house after a month of not seeing him and when he saw that it was us at the door he was so excited!!! He was actually laughing in happiness for a few minutes, just surprised that we would actually come back, that we hadn't given up on him (disciples of Christ never give up on our brothers and sisters!). So we talked to him about opposition, that it will happen. And that what is important is that if he knows it's true. And all other things will be put into place for him.

We also got back in contact with a recent convert who's been AWOL the last month and we finally met with him and he'd been hit with a lot of anti and was questioning a lot of what he knew was true.

Megan, one of our members went joint teaching with us and she asked him if he knew that the Book of Mormon was true and if he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet. He said yes to both.

We explained to him that people will ask him questions and he will be tested in his faith, and that is okay, it's part of your progression in the gospel and it's alright if you don't have all the answers for them, but what is important is that we have a strong testimony in the gospel and he finds out for himself if this gospel is really true or not.

Then, It doesn't matter what anyone else says. Their testimony does not have to be our testimony.  It seemed that he was comforted in this and that it was going to be alright and he said he wanted to pray about it again to know if this was right for him.

I'm learning that the basics of the gospel is really what is important. The world will point fingers at everything surrounding the gospel, but the gospel itself is pure and simple and it cannot be proven to be evil. If we have a testimony of faith in Jesus Christ and all that he teaches, he is a foundation that we can rely on despite the tempests that threaten to knock us down.

Christ puts it well when he speaks to his disciples of opposition:

St. John 15:19-21
These things I command you, that ye love one another.
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

One thing I've learned is that the gospel is NOT a battle of religions, this is not a battle of who is more perfect than who, or who has more knowledge of the Bible, or what type of person makes it to heaven. This is not a competition between each other as human beings. We're not perfect, and that's totally fine! The gospel is not centered around casting stones at each other, that's just ridiculous to think that's what religion is about. We'll never win a battle of who's got weaknesses, because we all do. Our opposition should not be turned towards one another. That is not God's plan.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, is a principle of love.


As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
I ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
these things have  spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

this is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

YE ARE MY FRIENDS, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Find truth through searching for the pure love of Christ. Put aside the distractions of the world, the imperfections of people and the weaknesses of our own. It's fine, we're not perfect, we don't have the answers of the universe, we aren't God.

The doctrine of Jesus Christ is here for you to know and to gain your own personal testimony of it. And if our claim is that we have the completeness of his gospel in the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, then find out for yourself, and do not let the persuasions of others sway your search for truth.

If this doctrine moves you to become a better person, to change your life for the better, to strengthen your family, to help others, and to help you gain a relationship with God, then pray to know if this is the truth. And if you get your answer, there it is!

Opposition will always be a part of our lives and that's okay! stay strong, you'll figure it out (:

Love you all! Keep up your awesomeness! Continue to strengthen your testimony!
Sister Ficklin 

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014 Making a Plan . . .

fun pday walking around shops and churches in Austin. 

one of the many churches here

trick or treat!
the wentworth family (:

Sophiapatra (: I helped do her Egyptian makeup

this coat would be awesome for winter...

elder Carlson zone conference

Happy Halloween from your freaky missionary friends  haha

Happy November!!

Wow, it's already November... the cold is  starting to set in!

We had a really great week this week! We had a great Halloween, we made thank you treat bags and dropped them off to members houses, had an AMAZING lesson with one of our African investigators who ended our lesson with "let me tell you how I know your church is true" and went on to explain that even though he agreed to come to church once and then tell us that he has his own church to go to, we still came, and he saw that we didn't just want him to join our church, we really do love to teach about God, he also said that we always ask him to keep the commandments and last week we asked him to stop drinking and he did and he said if we hadn't asked him, he wouldn't have. Then to top it off he said that he doesn't know why but his English is always better when he talks with us and then when he tries to speak English to others its very difficult for him. It was so cool to hear that he is recognizing the blessings he is receiving. He opened up a lot more and asked some very deep questions, and now we are very excited for him.

In an effort to help out our investigators who speak French, we have begun to learn French ourselves with one of our members... French is hard. haha but its been so fun! Right now we are just learning the basics, the ABC's, how to pronounce words (the hardest part) and how to pray in French. We hope that soon we will be able to communicate a little better with our friends from Benine.

We had Elder Carlson from the area 70 come and visit our mission and man, the more I am around these Apostles, the more I see that they are what I want to become. They are great examples of living Christ-like lives, and still they are just average ordinary people! Elder Carlson taught many different things, but one of the things he talked about I want to share with you. He taught us to "Stay on the line".

He was explaining to us about good planning. He was talking about the daily mission life and how to plan well, but I feel like this is going to apply very well with life outside of the mission as well.

He told us that when we plan effectively and specifically is when the Lord can bless us effectively and specifically. A lot of time as a missionary is put into planning, he asked us why we devote so much time to planning?

He said, it's because planning is important to the Lord. Our God is a God of order, there is nothing left undone, nothing left unplanned with Him. So if we are to be like our Heavenly Father, we should learn how to plan.

He went on to explain, that, when we plan out our days very specifically, and then we "follow the line", when we make a plan and follow it, that is how the Lord places people in our path to bless. The Lord prepares others when we prepare ourselves, and when he trusts us in what we say we will do, that is when he opens the flood gates of the blessings he has in store for us.

Yes, He does prepare and plan blessings for each and everyone of us, and one of the ways we can receive those blessings is through planning out a course in our lives and following that line.

So, make a plan: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc. And don't stop there! Don't be discouraged if your plans fall through, the Lord can make all things possible if you make dun duh dun dun!!! backup plans! if plan A doesn't work out, let the Lord know what you plan to do if your plans take a different turn than you thought. Make a plan A, plan B, plan C... Just make plans! Find out what is most important to you, set your milestones, put plans in motion and stick with it! The Lord can do no miracle if we are not following our OWN plan to happiness.

Everything the Lord asks us to do requires acting. We need to set ourselves in motion and then the Lord can set everything else in our lives in motion.

It's been so cool this week to see the reality of this promised blessing of following the line!

Sister Pierce and I decided to do that, to try it out, see if it will actually work. So, we did the leg work of planning well the night before, and the next morning we would wake up to see what it would bring. Let me tell you it was better than we thought! We followed our line to a T! well, more like an I, that line is straighter (; it was so cool! We met everyone that we needed to meet and more! we ran into 3 people who came into our path that knew about Mormons and thought that they were great people and wanted to learn more about the church! I'm telling you these are rare people to find in Minnesota that have some connection with the church, and we had 3 of them we found in 1 day! And what did we do? We followed the line.

There were many times where Satan tried to distract us from the pathway that we had set before us, and many temptations, doubts, thoughts, you name it, he tried. It really made us realize Satans small tools to get us off of the pathway to eternal happiness. Small things really that we might not even realize, but they slowly take us off track of the blessings we will receive if we follow the line.

We have been doing this for three days now, and the last 3 days have been extremely successful. Even if we follow the path and what we were supposed to do originally didn't work out, we found someone who needed us at that very point in time, and perhaps even, circumstances that were unseen to us were unfolding for our good. I think perhaps, even when we don't see any immediate blessings take part in our lives even when we are following the line does not mean that the Lord is not setting in motion opportunities and blessings for you and others. I strongly believe that there are many unseen, unacknowledged, unnoticed blessings that work in ways that perhaps you will never know of until the day you die, but none the less they are there. I believe at times that is where our trial of faith comes in. Will we trust that the Lord will keep His promises?

It's just been a very cool week of further understanding the mind and mysteries of God.

The Lord tries the faith of his people. So, I believe He is asking you to try him!
Read Alma 32.
Make a plan, and follow the line, He wants you to see where He can take you, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Love you all! I hope you had a very Happy Halloween!
Love Sister Ficklin